It’s now been a full decade since the Great Recession ushered in what’s often called the new normal, a supposed re-calibration of what’s possible in terms of global economic growth. But a funny thing happened: the world’s consumers displayed unexpected resilience, driven by technological advances that have unleashed a Golden Age of consumption, offering a worldwide bazaar of goods and services — open day and night — to anyone with a mobile phone.
As of March 2019, despite gyrating global stock markets, trade uncertainty, slowing growth in China and an international lurch towards populism and isolationism, consumers stand astride the global economy, still working, still buying, still confident about the future and still embracing new technology.
In fact, according to analysis reported in the Financial Times in 2018 the global unemployment level fell to 5.2%, the lowest level in 38 years. And in September 2018, the Brookings Institution reported that for the first time in history, just over half the people on Earth — 3.8 billion — were rich enough to be classified as middle class.
Not only are consumers the strongest link in the global economic chain, but PwC’s 10th annual Global Consumer Insights Survey (GCIS) — which gathers the sentiments of more than 21,000 online consumers in 27 territories* — shows that the technological tools available to them have put them in a position to demand a tailored, channel agnostic, socially conscious and social media-powered experience.
“Whether your organisation sells household goods, health services, cars or financial services, delivering a superior experience will be what makes you a winner,” says John Maxwell, PwC’s Global Consumer Markets leader.
In fact, in addition to the traditional return on investment (ROI) metrics used to determine a company’s success, PwC believes it’s time to introduce another metric, one with a focus on customer experience. Because consumers today are so discerning and powerful, it’s our perspective that most organisations need to invest far more in customer experience (CX). Measuring ‘return on experience’ (ROX), will help you understand your earnings on investments in the parts of your company directly related to how people interact with your brand.
To put the insights from our GCIS research into context, we have supplemented them with interviews from executives from consumer-facing companies to learn more about their views of the changing consumer and PwC’s ROX framework.
We also have gathered input from PwC’s experts and drawn insights from other PwC publications.
This executive summary is divided into three sections to help start you on the path to understanding ROX:
• How consumers are redefining customer experience
• Measuring your ROX
• Six imperatives for improving your ROX